Article 43



Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kiss The Fourth Amendment Good Bye

Senate Judiciary Committee approves Big Brother bills
Ryan Paul
ARS Technica

Se 14, 2006

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved two competing bills designed to overhaul electronic surveillance laws and address the legal ambiguity of the NSA’s wiretap program. One of those bills, the NATIONAL SECURITY SURVEILLANCE ACT (S.B. 2453), would legitimize the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance activity, and thwart current efforts by the EFF and ACLU to challenge the legality of the program in court.

Authorized by an executive order signed by President Bush in 2002, the extralegal spying program enables the NSA to engage in covert domestic surveillance of American citizens and foreign nationals. Revealed to the public last year by the New York Times, the NSA’s controversial program has become the subject of contentious debate. After the Senate decided not to pursue an inquiry into the program at the insistence of vice president Cheney, the EFF and several other organizations filed suits against the government and the telecommunications companies that facilitated the program. The federal government tried to crush the litigation by invoking the state secrets privilege. Although the ACLU’s case was dismissed, Judge Vaughn Walker rejected the state secrets argument, and decided to permit the EFF to pursue it’s case against AT&T. The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation lawsuit against the NSA was also permitted. Characterizing the program as unconstitutional, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ordered the NSA to halt UNWARRANTED SURVEILLANCE activity earlier this month.

Sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter and described as a “compromise” with the White House, S.B. 2453 radically redefines surveillance, dramatically expands the power of the executive branch, substantially weakens FOURTH AMENDMENT protections, and imposes limitations on judicial and congressional oversight to an extent that critics (including myself) claim is antithetical to the Separation of Powers doctrine and the American system of checks and balances.

If passed, S.B. 2453 would legalize the NSA’s current domestic spying activity, and permit the government to establish entire electronic surveillance programs with a single FISA warrant. The bill would also change the definition of surveillance to allow the government to intercept “dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling” data from purely domestic electronic communications without requiring a warrant. In essence, the government would be free to compile massive databases that track the source and destination of practically all domestic e-mail messages and phone calls as well as the web browsing habits of American citizens. The bill further expands the NSA program by permitting interception of the content and substance of purely domestic communications in cases where one party is located on “property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power,” enabling interception of messages sent to or from foreign embassies located in America.

S.B. 2453 would also allow the government to move all litigation and legal challenges to federal surveillance programs into the FISA courts, where only government lawyers are permitted to see and present evidence. The bill would permit the FISA court to “dismiss a challenge to the legality of an electronic surveillance program for any reason provided for under law.” If passed, S.B. 2453 would easily put an end to the lawsuits pursued by the EFF, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, and others. It would completely prevent public scrutiny of domestic intelligence gathering programs and silence those that have been subjected to such programs. Finally, the bill would expand executive authority by removing all restraints on presidential power from FISA. The bill allows the President to authorize domestic electronic surveillance programs without any judicial oversight at all.

Condemned by the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU) as “a rubber stamp for the administration’s abuse of power,” S.B. 2453 has infuriated privacy and civil liberties advocates. ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy Lisa Graves comments, “The approval of partisan bills to ratify the illegal spying on Americans demonstrates cowardly obedience to the president, to the detriment of the liberty and privacy of the American people and the rule of law.” According to the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Specter’s bill paradoxically “define[s] large categories of electronic surveillance as not being electronic surveillance,” and “divests the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of jurisdiction to review the President’s program.” The CDT also points out that the scope and nature of the data mining permitted by S.B. 2453 is “reminiscent of the Total Information Awareness program,” which we have discussed in the past in relation to the NSA program.

Senator Feinstein’s bill, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act (S.B. 3877), was also approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cosponsored by Specter despite the fact that it competes with his own bill, S.B. 3877 received bipartisan support and is endorsed by numerous civil liberties groups. Much less radical than competing proposals, Feinstein’s bill attempts to safeguard civil liberties while resolving problems with current FISA legislation identified by the administration, including “significant time delays, and inadequate administration personnel.”

Feinstein’s bill requires the President to adhere to the rule of law, and explicitly states that Authorization for Use of Military Force does not give the president “an implied authority to act outside of FISA.” The bill would also require electronic surveillance activity to be disclosed to Congressional intelligence committees. While still requiring warrants for surveillance, S.B. 3877 would allow retroactive warrants to be acquired as much as 7 days after the fact, expanding the time windowfrom 72 hours. The bill would also extend support for “hot pursuit” wiretaps in a manner that would allow law enforcement and NSA supervisors to authorize surveillance without a warrant, as long as the Attorney General is notified within 24 hours. The CDT praised Feinstein’s bill, saying that it “restores the constitutional balance of power and is narrowly focused on the issues the Administration said caused it to circumvent FISA—namely, the need for more resources, greater speed in approving FISA applications, more flexibility to begin wiretapping in an emergency, and clarity that a warrant is not required for the interception of foreign-to-foreign communications.”

Specter’s support for both bills is peculiar to say the least. Despite the inherently contradictory nature of the two proposals, Senator Specter does not feel that his position is in any way inconsistent. The proposal authored by Specter in cooperation with the White House could be part of a Republican pre-election strategy to push for a vote on controversial national security issues that will provide Republican Congressional candidates with an opportunity to characterize their opponents as “weak on terrorism.”

When it comes right down to it, both of the bills inherently degrade fourth amendment protections and expand the scope of the federal government’s investigative power and authority for the sake of augmented versatility in the war against terror, but Feinstein’s bill does so while simultaneously imposing concrete and well-defined limitations on the extent of Presidential power. In order to ensure that the American system of checks and balances remains intact, it is imperative that lawmakers reject proposals like the Specter bill, which eliminate oversight and accountability while imbuing the executive branch with the power to violate the freedom and privacy of American citizens. As the war against terror continues, the increasingly invasive investigative techniques used by the federal government must be coupled with vigorous oversight. Obscured by the dark curtain of the secretive FISA courts, domestic surveillance cannot be permitted to continue beyond the reach of public scrutiny.


Posted by Elvis on 09/20/06 •
Section Revelations
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Are We Headed Toward World War?


It may sound overly dramatic when the question is originally posed, however there have been more than one analyst that have stated that the current status of world relations is not completely dissimilar to that of 1938. The growing animosity between the Middle Eastern Islamic states and western world continues to spread daily. The leader of Iran continues to pursue nuclear power, and has openly stated that he would like to eliminate Israel as well as the United States. When all things are considered, all-out war certainly does not seem out of the question. However, instead of contemplating who is or is not at fault for the current state of affairs, let’s discuss how such a catastrophe could be avoided. Time Opinion Leaders, it is clear that the possibility of nuclear war is present. If you were saddled with the task of avoiding it, what would your plan be?


Posted by Elvis on 09/16/06 •
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Monday, August 28, 2006

What Lincoln Foresaw

Corporations Being “Enthroned” After the Civil War and Re-Writing the Laws Defining Their Existence
By Rick Crawford

Here is a sobering quote by Abe Lincoln:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

Some people expressed doubts about its authenticity, given Lincoln’s work as an attorney for railroad corporations! It was an interesting job tracking it down and verifying its authenticity.

The first ref I heard for this quote was Jack London’s 1908 Iron Heel. And although the quote indeed appears there (near p. 100), Jack London offered neither context nor source.

More recently, David Korten’s book, When Corporations Rule the World (1995, Kumarian Press), sources the quote to Harvey Wasserman (America Born and Reborn, Macmillan, 1983, p. 89-90, 313), who in turn sources it to Paha Sapa Reports, the newspaper of the Black Hills Alliance, Rapid City, South Dakota, 4 March 1982. But given Wasserman’s ties to Howard Zinn, and his status as co-founder (?) of the Liberation News Service, citing that kind of trail is like waving a red flag for the skeptics.

Fortunately, after some burrowing in the univ. library, I was able to confirm its authenticity. Here it is, with more surrounding context:

“We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end.
It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . .
It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war,
corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places
will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth
is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety
of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

The passage appears in a letter from Lincoln to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864.

For a reliable pedigree, cite p. 40 of The Lincoln Encyclopedia, by Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY). That traces the quote’s lineage to p. 954 of Abraham Lincoln: A New Portrait, (Vol. 2) by Emanuel Hertz (Horace Liveright Inc, 1931, NY).

Based on about 3 hrs of research, it appears Lincoln has been extensively SANITIZED FOR OUR PROTECTION. The Hidden Lincoln; from the Letters and Papers of William H. Herndon, by Emanuel Hertz (Viking Press, 1938, NY), details how Herndon (Lincoln’s lifelong law partner) collected an extensive oral history and aggregated much of Lincoln’s writings into a collection that served as the basis for many “authoritative” books on Lincoln.

By all accounts, Herndon was scrupulously honest and plainspoken. Hertz quotes Herndon’s characterization of the various “big-name” authors who relied on his collection for primary source materials:

“They are aiming, first, to do a superb piece of literary work; second, to make the story WITH THE CLASSES AS AGAINST THE MASSES. [my emphasis added] It will result in delineating the real Lincoln about as well as does a wax figure in the museum.”

In several books, I found numerous places where Lincoln spoke about Capital and Labor ("Workingmen"). Lincoln re-used his own material frequently, and virtually identical passages appear in several places. Lincoln praises the moral rightness of both Capital and Labor, but this is invariably in the context of a nation where NO MORE THAN ONE MAN IN EIGHTis a Capitalist or a Laborer, ie, where 7/8 of the population are “self-employed” on their own farms and homesteads.

This social context of general self-sufficiency would explain how Lincoln could serve for years as a railroad corporation lawyer with (apparently) no qualms, yet pen the “corporations enthroned” passage to Elkins.

A final Lincoln tidbit, although it pertains to one very specific case:

“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.”

speech to Illinois legislature, Jan. 1837.
See Vol. 1, p. 24 of Lincoln’s Complete Works,
ed. by Nicolay and Hay, 1905)


Posted by Elvis on 08/28/06 •
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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush Madness II

Where Is The Voice Of Sanity
By Paul Levy
Awaken In The Dream
June 13, 2006

A little while ago I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile. He asked me what I had been up to. I told him that I was writing a book about the collective psychosis that was wreaking havoc on our planet. He asked me what made me think there was a collective psychosis going on. His question left me speechless, literally not knowing what to say. What made him think that there wasn’t a collective psychosis, I wondered. You could look in any direction and find endless EXAMPLES which proved that our species has gone out of our minds. There was so much overwhelming evidence for the collective psychosis that I didn’t even know where to start. To see our collective madness, all we have to do is simply look at what we’re doing to each other, not to mention the very planet we depend upon for our very survival. We seem to have gone so crazy that many people haven’t even noticed, as our madness has become normalized, which is just further proof of our collective psychosis.

Where is the voice of the psychiatric establishment in pointing out the obvious situation: not only that our leader is mad, but that Bush’s madness is a reflection of the fact that we, as a species, have fallen into a collective psychosis? In a personal conversation I had with the late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack about exactly this point, he expressed his opinion that the psychiatric community doesn’t see it as their job to deal with collective pathological situations such as we are in. Amazingly, Mack was pointing to the fact that the psychiatric community doesn’t see it as their responsibility to track collective psychic epidemics.

On the one hand, there is psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of the fine book Bush on the Couch. Dr. Frank has my utmost respect for his incisive psychoanalytic study of Bush, pointing out Bush’s pathological condition in a lucid and indisputable manner. Frank’s analysis is extremely important and very brilliant, illumining Bush’s pathology in relationship to the dysfunctional family system of which he is a part. Frank points out, both in Bush’s family as well as writ large on the world stage in the form of the media and his supporters, the undeniable signs of the “enabling” behavior typically seen in the disease of family alcoholism.

Frank’s work has reached a very important edge, however, and is calling to be unfolded further. By viewing Bush in relationship to his family system, Frank reaches the limits of an understanding based solely on family dynamics. Like a traditional psychoanalyst, Frank considers Bush as a “separate self” existing apart from the greater unified and unifying field, that is to say the entire universe, of which he is a part. And yet, at the same time that Bush exists as a separate self who is autonomous and independent from the world at large, he is interdependently embedded in and an expression of the universe.

As long as psychoanalysis contemplates Bush as solely a “separate self,” however, it is under a form of illusion, as we don’t exist in isolation from each other, but rather, in relation to each other. Though Frank’s analysis of Bush in his identity as a discrete, independently-existing person has tremendous value, analogous to how the mechanical models of classical physics have great general utility in understanding the workings of our world, any analysis of an object or person isolated from the universe of which they are an interconnected part is of necessity incomplete. As quantum physics points out, we simply do not exist, in the ultimate sense, as isolated entities who are separate from each other or our environment. Having reached the edge of psychoanalysis, and limited by its worldview, it is not within the scope of Frank’s analysis to address the inherent psycho-spiritual condition that pervades the underlying field, both in our country and our world at large, of which Bush is merely a symbolic expression. I imagine that Frank himself would be the first to admit this, and would enthusiastically encourage others to further unfold and place his findings in a larger psycho-spiritual context.

Frank points out the unconscious collusion in the silence and collective denial towards Bush’s behavior that pervades the field. Constrained by the traditional discipline that he so faithfully represents, however, it is not within Frank’s purview to diagnose our species as a whole as being in the midst of a psychic epidemic.

Frank’s analysis is the pinnacle of psychoanalysis, beautifully illumining Bush’s pathology on the “personal” level. Because of the fact that Frank is viewing Bush as an isolated person distinct and separate from the world around him, he doesn’t address the deeper level of the unifying field in which we’re all interconnected and interdependent. Ultimately, we are not able to contemplate Bush’s madness without looking in the mirror. Bush’s madness is truly our own.

Frank’s analysis of Bush’s “personal” pathology inspires and places a demand on us to catapult off of his insights, like a springboard, into the higher-order of the “transpersonal” (beyond the personal) dimension. Adding a transpersonal viewpoint, which recognizes that we are fundamentally and ultimately interconnected parts of the whole, actually complements and completes Frank’s analysis of Bush’s “personal” psychology. Both of these perspectives, the personal and the transpersonal, are incomplete by themselves. When neither of these perspectives are marginalized, but are simultaneously viewed together as both being true, they synergistically cross-pollinate and illumine each other. The personal and transpersonal interpenetrate each other so fully that they are not two separate perspectives joined together, but are two aspects of a deeper unified field which contains and unifies them.

Seen transpersonally, the figure of Bush is a symbol which re-presents and reveals the collective psychosis that we have all fallen into. The figure of Bush is a portal which simultaneously feeds and is an expression of the collective madness that is in everyone. Bush is merely a symptom, an embodied reflection of a deeper underlying pathology that exists in the collective unconscious of humanity which is giving shape to and in-forming world events. Seen transpersonally, the figure of Bush is revealing something to us about ourselves.

We are all complicit in the madness that is playing out in our world. Shedding light on our shared responsibility for the deeper underlying psychological roots of collective world events helps us to become truly empowered agents of change in our world who can truly make a difference.

If the psychiatric establishment doesn’t see it as their job to illumine the fact that we are in the midst of a collective psychosis that is potentially destroying our species, the question then arises: whose job is it? Cultural anthropologists? Sociologists? Where is the voice of sanity who is pointing out the collective madness that our species has fallen into? Who are the people who study mass psychological events? What is playing out in the world has its origins in the unconscious psyche of humanity. Whose job is it to map, articulate and shed light on the psychic origins of collective world events?

A year or so ago I received an email from an irate Jungian analyst who was very critical of my work. She expressed her outrage by saying “How dare I writeabout Jung if I’m not a trained and certified Jungian analyst!” It was her non-negotiable opinion that it was simply “wrong” that I should be writing an analysis of the deeper, underlying psychological roots of world events if I wasn’t a professionally authorized “psychologist.” I never wrote her back because I felt there was no space for dialogue with her. Now I know what I would say to her: I wouldn’t writeabout Jung’s brilliant insights that illumine and heal the pathological aspects of our current world situation if the people who’s job it is to writeabout such things, such as herself, would simply do their job. If people such as psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and the mental health community as a whole would shed sufficient light on the collective psychosis that is potentially destroying our species, I would be happy to do other, much more fun-filled activities.

As people who recognize the insane nature of our situation, which is to be sane in a world gone mad, it is our job to come to terms and deal with the collective psychosis that is wreaking havoc on our planet. It is our job, our calling, our vocation to deal with the indisputable fact that we are being ruled by people who have fallen into a state of collective madness. It is our responsibility to deal with the fact that everyone who supports Bush in his madness: his administration, the corporate, congressional, judicial, military industrial complex, the media, the voters that allegedly put him into office, and ourselves as well if we are doing nothing about our situation, have all fallen prey to a psychic epidemic that threatens the entire planet. If we continue to insist on being under-employed by not stepping into our power and creatively speaking our true voice to the abuse of power, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

The evil that is being enacted on our planet could only happen because of a sufficient number of people who are passively standing on the sideline and doing nothing about it. Not doing anything about the evil we see being acted out in the world is to ourselves become an unwitting instrument of evil, as our in-action allows, enables, and feeds the further propagation of evil in the field. Evil is truly calling us to pick up an empowered role, whatever that is, and “act,” as if we are actors in a play or characters in a dream. Recognizing our responsibility for the collective situation we find ourselves in, we access our ability to respond creatively in the world and act-ively do something about it.

Something is being revealed to us about ourselves by the fact that we are being ruled by people who are mad. Imagine, what would we do if we truly recognized that our government is being run by people who have collectively gone mad? What would we do if we realized that the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet, the person with his finger on the button, is a genuine psychopath? This is not a make believe question: How would we respond if enough of us not only RECOGNIZED that our leaders were truly insane, but that we urgently needed to do something about it? What do we imagine we would do? This is a very relevant question, as this is the true nature of our current situation.

Do we go belly-up, imagining that there is nothing that we could possibly do about our insane situation? Do we imagine ourselves collapsing into impotence, being totally dis-empowered, unable to do anything about being ruled by a bunch of psychopaths? Or do we imagine that enough of us, realizing the gravitas of our situation, connect with each other and access our collective genius so that we can truly make a positive change in the world? The question is: Will the darkness that is manifesting in our world destroy our species or wake us up to our true nature? The choice, and responsibility, is truly ours.

Paul Levy, is the author of The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis, which is available at his WEBSITE.



Posted by Elvis on 06/15/06 •
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

US Battle Plans

Doesn’t this scare you MORE THAN A LITTLE?
Read the full document HERE.

Joint Publication 3-12: Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations

Final Coordination (2)
15 March 2005


1. Scope

This publication provides guidelines for the joint employment of forces in nuclear operations. It provides guidance for the employment of US nuclear forces; command and control relationships; and weapons effect considerations.

2. Purpose

This publication has been prepared under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It sets forth joint doctrine to govern the activities and performance of the Armed Forces of the United States in operations and provides the doctrinal basis for interagency coordination and for US military involvement in multinational operations. It provides military guidance for the exercise of authority by combatant commanders and other joint force commanders (JFCs) and prescribes joint doctrine for operations and training. It provides military guidance for use by the Armed Forces in preparing their appropriate plans. It is not the intent of this publication to restrict the authority of the JFC from organizing the force and executing the mission in a manner the JFC deems most appropriate to ensure unity of effort in the accomplishment of the overall objective.

3. Application

a. Joint doctrine established in this publication applies to the commanders of combatant commands, subunified commands, joint task forces, subordinate components of these commands, and the Services.

b. The guidance in this publication is authoritative; as such, this doctrine will be followed except when, in the judgment of the commander, exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise. If conflicts arise between the contents of this publication and the contents of Service publications, this publication will take precedence unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, normally in coordination with the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has provided more current and specific guidance. Commanders of forces operating as part of a multinational (alliance or coalition) military command should follow multinational doctrine and procedures ratified by the United States. For doctrine and procedures not ratified by the United States, commanders should evaluate and follow the multinational commands doctrine and procedures, where applicable and consistent with US law, regulations, and doctrine.

The US does not make positive statements defining the circumstances under which it would use nuclear weapons. Maintaining US ambiguity about when it would use nuclear weapons helps create doubt in the minds of potential adversaries, deterring them from taking hostile action. This calculated ambiguity helps reinforce deterrence. If the US clearly defined conditions under which it would use nuclear weapons, others might infer another set of circumstances in which the US would not use nuclear weapons. This perception would increase the chances that hostile leaders might not be deterred from taking actions they perceive as falling below that threshold.

Use of nuclear weapons within a theater requires that nuclear and conventional plans be integrated to the greatest extent possible and that careful consideration be given to the potential impact of nuclear effects on friendly forces. JP 3-12.1, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Theater Nuclear Planning (S), forthcoming, will provide theater planners the nuclear weapons data necessary to determine troop safety information such as minimum safe distances, collateral damage distances and least separation distances.



Posted by Elvis on 03/12/06 •
Section Revelations
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